New mosquito species discovered in Sri Lanka

Colombo South Harbor at Colombo Port, Sri Lanka.

SRI LANKA - A species of mosquito, new to Sri Lanka, has been identified by a team of Assistant Entomologists at the Medical Research Institute (MRI).

Spokesman for the Health Ministry, Dharma Wanninayake, yesterday said that the new mosquito species, which largely resembled the Topomiya species, was known to breed with the dengue mosquito.

The spokesman said that the larvae of the recently found species fed on those of dengue mosquitoes. It also has a close resemblance to the dengue mosquito Aedes Aegypti and had a similar white line on its head. However, there were no signs that it sucked human blood unlike other mosquitoes. He said that it had two proboscises to make food consumption easier.

The discovery has been made after 124 years by Assistant Entomologists W. G. Premaratne (Head of the research team), P. Ranasinghe and Y. Sriyakanthi.

The team will continue its research to establish if the species is harmful to humans. They would draw up a report at the end of the research and hand it over to the Health Minister, the Health Secretary and the Director General Health Services at the end of their research.

Quoting the chief of the MRI, Dr. Anil Samaranayake, the spokesman said the Ministry had provided all required equipment for research aimed at eliminating mosquito borne diseases in the country.